The Mariana Avifauna Conservation Program
Co-Primary Investigator for the Mariana Avifauna Conservation Program (MAC)
Animal Curator, Memphis Zoo & Aquarium
The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) has an insipient population of brown treesnakes on Saipan. Based on this the CNMI has asked the Memphis Zoo to assist them in conservation efforts aimed at saving their native avifauna. This project has a twofold approach. First we plan to capture, and bring into captivity at least 6 of the 12 native forest dwelling bird species.
These birds will be transported to AZA zoos in the United States for the purpose of developing captive populations as a hedge against extinction. Secondly we will establish viable in situ populations on designated sanctuary islands by means of translocation or moving birds from areas threatened by brown treesnakes to snake free islands.
The CNMI has requested the assistance of the Memphis Zoo and other AZA institutions to:
- Develop techniques that will allow wildlife staff from the CNMI to capture, acclimate to captive conditions, hold, transport and breed in captivity all of the bird species found in CNMI.
- Establish captive populations of select species that can be used as a source population forpossible reintroduction back to Guam or Islands in the CNMI which are able to control the brown tree snakes
- Translocate birds to islands where the brown tree snake is not present.
- Develop public education programs that will assist the conservation of their avifauna.
- Develop fund raising program to assist insitu conservation efforts.
- Provide training to local biologists.
This power point presentation describes the phases of the program over the last 6 years and what we have accomplished in that time. [powerpoint presentation not included]